The Landing Pad Border – Part 2

At the very end of the last season, the Landing Pad was finished, in the sense that there was a circular area with bark chips in which to sit. The problem was with the surrounding area. After a chilly start to this year and a late entrance for Spring, work on the borders around the Landing Pad finally started again in the traditional manner of getting the lawn edger out and marking the border edge. Then came the ordering of many bulk bags of compost, manure and top soil and subsequent carting all that material from the front, right the way through to the back with the help of the trusty green wheelbarrow, which is still going strong, though it does tend to list to the right.

I left a one-metre wide strip along the fence line where the large bamboo screen used to be, there’s a short wire fence and some brightly colours trugs there in the picture. The plan is to replant with beech (as bare root in winter), thereby continuing the hedge to the large birch by the shed. Running alongside this strip is a one-metre wide bark-chip path to allow access for hedge trimming. Then comes the border that wraps around the Landing Pad.

We have several tree trunks and large wooden branches that I thought could be put to good use by marking out path edges. I held these in place using short sections of bamboo as ground pins. I also eyed up the large pile of spare roofing tiles that the neighbours had in their garden and they kindly donate several stacks to be used as the edging between the border and the Landing Pad proper. This gave the Landing Pad a neat, crisp edge that will soon be hidden under a mass of green ferns (when eventually planted and established) but it’s the detail in the mean time that counts.

This is the first border that has proximity to some very large trees, whose thick roots run right underneath the Landing Pad and throughout the surrounding border. As such, it was not possible to use the tiller to dig down into the existing soil without doing some serious damage to both the tiller and the tree roots. To prepare the border soil here, we weeded the surface and the dumped the compost, top soil and manure mix on top. It was mixed altogether with the tiller but there was none of the digging down, mixing in, backfill and re-mix work that we did for the other borders. I used a fork in places to try and break up some of the compacted ground and the tiller would have scratched the surface, but the worms are going to have to do the work of incorporating the soil mix on top, with the clay underneath. This is essentially a “no dig” border and it will be interesting to see just how the soil behaves and mixes over time.

The shape of the border is a straight edge along the hedge line, a 90-degree corner and another straight edge to follow the rectangular area of grass. It then turns another corner and the shape curves to mirror the semi-circular border (that’s yet to be made).

This curve sweeps outward and then back in to join up with the shed that forms the fourth side of the border. In essence it’s a rough square with a wiggly bit. The entrances and exits to the border, the edges with the shed and Landing Pad, the odd corners, angles and slope make this border particularly fiddly to get right. It took some time to figure out how to best work each area but it’s these details that matter and ‘Part 3″ will have the “Grand Reveal”, showing the new border as ready to plant. It may take some time to start planting this border as the new soil mix is bone dry and it’s impractical to keep it watered. It needs to have a whole winter’s worth of rain to top it up and prime it ready for the new season. That gives me plenty of time to look through catalogues and web sites to get ideas and inspiration.

8 Comments


  1. I know it will be spectacular, Sunil. Can’t wait to see how it turns out. In the meantime, you have a good reason to look forward to winter and that needed rain!

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    1. Thanks, Lynn, I can’t wait to visit the Garden Centre and buy plants, seeds and bulbs to fill this space out. It might take several trips! The rain is definitely needed as it’s so dry at the moment that new plants really could suffer.

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  2. We’ve had 24 hours of rain down here but now it’s a day full of sunshine again. Still, at least everyone got a drink out of it! Looking forward to seeing this part of the garden again next time. I salute you both on the job you’ve done since you moved in – but what will you do when it’s finished?!?!!!!!

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    1. Hello Mrs Mac, we’ve had a couple of heavy downpours and that made the ground damp for a little while but after a hot week it’s like it never rained in the first place. The grass is still green but I think the plants are getting a bit tired of the constant sunshine without a break for rain and refreshment. When I finished the garden, I’ll have a good sit-down, perhaps on the Landing Pad!

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  3. Thanks Jason, the edges will only be visible for a short while until the planting spills over and hides the edges, that’s what happens in the other borders. I can’t wait to start planting it.

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  4. The garden which you are creating makes me think this may well be your forever home. I wouldn’t worry about what you are going to do when the major work is completed. Maintenance gives great satisfaction. Don’t let me miss part three.

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    1. Hello Alistair, I’ll have to down-size before I get too old but that’s hopefully some time away yet. It’ll be interesting to see what I do with all the time that I get back once I go into “maintenance mode” for the garden!

      Reply

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